Our View: Still no action against gun violence


Rocky Mount Telegram

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Once again, a madman has entered an American school with an automatic weapon and wrought carnage upon innocent victims.

And once again, politicians on one side of the gun control debate offer thoughts and prayers while solemnly intoning that the tragedy should not be exploited for political purposes, while those on the other side of the issue cast shame and blame on them for continued congressional inaction on the matter.

Nikolas Cruz used a semi-automatic rifle to gun down 17 people Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. A chilling cellphone video captured the horror of the moment as traumatized students lay writhing and screaming on the floor while bursts of gunfire could be heard outside their classroom.

Prayer vigils were held. Sympathy and condolences were offered. Calls for some kind, any kind, of action were raised — just like hundreds of times before.

Just like in the wake of a shooting spree that killed 12 students and one teacher in 1999 at Columbine High School in Colorado. And after 20 first-graders and six adults were slaughtered in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Payers. Tears. Sympathy. Condolences.

But never any action.

Since the slayings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, at least 239 school shootings have claimed the lives of 138 Americans, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

After the Sandy Hook massacre failed to produce any strengthening of the nation’s gun laws, many politicians and pundits came to the conclusion that if the shooting deaths of innocent first-graders in what should have been the safety of their own school failed to finally prod the American people and their representatives in Congress to make some serious attempt to reign in gun violence, it was likely that nothing ever would.

Perhaps they were right.